Vegan Diet Plan For Athletes

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Vegan diet plan for athletes can be good for obtaining a healthy body. Athletes need to maintain a high caloric demand during training and competition. The vegan diet provides high protein which promotes muscle build as well as healthy fats for energy and endurance during competition.

Vegan Athlete Meal Plan

Plant-based diets are great for athletes and those dedicated to fitness. Try this meal plan centered around your morning workout routine.

Pre-workout Breakfast – Power up by combining two slices of sprouted grain bread with peanut butter, banana, 100% maple syrup, and cinnamon.

Post-workout Snack – Make a smoothie with leafy greens, coconut water, mango, pineapple, and plant-based protein powder. A few optional ingredients you could add include turmeric, ginger, oats, flax seeds, or almond butter.

Lunch – Enjoy a vegan buddha bowl made with baked tofu, edamame, kale, quinoa, roasted sweet potatoes, and a light drizzle of almond butter or turmeric dressing.

Snack – Have a protein-packed Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip MacroBar and an orange.

Dinner – Go with chickpea & lentil pasta tossed in vegan kale pesto, with sautéed cherry tomatoes, zucchini, and broccoli.

Snack – Grab a handful of homemade trail mix.

Vegan meals for kids next to a GoMacro MacroBar

A Vegan Meal Plan that’s as Simple as it is Healthy

Eating right doesn’t have to be stressful. But if worrying about macronutrients (protein, carbs, and fat) and even micronutrients is unnecessary for most, and “just eat whole foods” feels a little lax and irresponsible, what is a vegan eater to do?

That’s where this approach comes in. Rather than focusing on macro- or micronutrients, I focus on eating whole foods, but also on working on the best, most disease-preventing, health-protective foods each and every day.

This isn’t a typical meal plan. Instead, it’s a framework — the seven most important foods I try to work into my diet each day, and three broad types of meals that make it almost automatic to get them — and with that and a little flexibility, you don’t need a meal plan. Don’t get hung up on the seven foods.

If there’s one you take issue with, or if you feel that I’m missing a food you believe is absolutely essential, that’s fine: just adapt the meals to feature your must-have foods instead of mine.

Likewise, don’t let anything about the recipes stress you out; look at them instead as blueprints, which you can adapt and adjust as necessary, swapping in certain ingredients and omitting others, and coming up with your own variations to add variety and keep things interesting.

This is the way my family and I eat at home, and do so with the confidence that we’re eating about as healthy a plant-based diet as there is, and without the stress that so many people experience around the topic of healthy eating. I hope you find this approach as helpful as I do.

The Foods

1. Leafy Greens & Cruciferous Vegetables


The most micronutrient dense of all foods (highest ANDI scores). They’re the healthiest foods you can eat, but so easy to not eat. Eat them often, raw and cooked!

2. Berries & Other Fruits


Just a quarter-cup of nuts each day can add two years to your life! Flaxseeds and walnuts, in particular, are high in Omega-3s; flaxseeds are also antiangiogenic.

3. Flaxseeds & Other Nuts/Seeds

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A 2007 American Institute for Cancer Research study concluded that we should eat beans in every meal (really)! They’re a food common to the world’s longest-lived cultures too.

4. Onions & Garlic


Tea is incredibly high in antioxidants, and some beneficial phytochemicals like ECGC are exclusive to the tea bush. Not a caffeine fan? Herbal teas are great too.

5. Beans


The most vibrantly colored fruits because of their strong anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, and anti-cancer properties. Buy them organic if possible.

6. Turmeric


A half-cup of onions per day can produce 50-88% reductions in the risk for certain cancers. For maximum benefits, chop onions & garlic 15 minutes ahead of cooking them!

7. Green or White Tea


Thanks largely to its pigment, curcumin, turmeric protects against heart disease & cancer, and may even help to reverse their progress. Eat it fresh or ground!

Additional Foods


Some important foods did not make this list. Not because they’re less important than the ones that did, but because they’re so easily available by eating a whole food plant-based diet, that I don’t need to focus on them here.

3 Meals that Make it Easy


Now that you know the seven foods worth eating every single day, let’s talk about how to incorporate all those ingredients into your day. Because let’s be honest, that’s the hardest part. It’s easy to learn what you should eat, but a lot more complicated to actually make it work. Which is why I came up with three adaptable meals that make it easy to include a bunch of these seven foods at once. Best of all, they’re probably meals you already make, so all you’ve got to do is learn to use the 7 foods within each.

1. Smoothie or Oatmeal

A simple morning smoothie will knock out several of the foods before your day gets going. With a smoothie you can easily get:

  • Berries and Other Fruits
  • Flaxseeds and Other Nuts
  • Greens (optionally cruciferous)
  • Green/White Tea Leaves or Matcha Powder
  • Turmeric
  • Beans!? (People do it! White beans and silken tofu don’t add much bean flavor.)
  • Real food plant-based protein powder (optional)

2. Giant Salad with Beans & Nut-based Dressing

For lunch, start with a big bowl of greens, throw on beans, mix in a bunch of other veggies, and top it off with a nut-based dressing like cashew ranch or tahini-garlic. In a salad you can include:

  • Greens
  • Cruciferous Vegetables
  • Onions (pickled, scallions, etc.)
  • Beans
  • Nuts & Seeds
  • Turmeric
  • Fruits
  • Whole Grains

3. A Grain, a Green, and a Bean

When you structure your dinner around a grain, a green, and a bean, the options are endless. Think burritos and tacos, soups, pastas, and curries, and try to always work in onions or garlic. Here are just a few of the foods you can get in this meal:

  • Whole grains
  • Greens
  • Beans
  • Onions & Garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • Turmeric
  • Cruciferous & Other Vegetables
  • Nuts & Seeds (topping or dressing)

The Perfect Day

Let’s put it all together. Here’s a peek at my ideal food day, which incorporates all seven of the foods at least once, along with a few servings of whole grains and, many days, mushrooms (both strong runners-up that one could argue should also be everyday foods).

Breakfast: Smoothie (plus water, coffee, or tea)

Morning Snack: Fruit (with nut butter, optionally), tea

Lunch: Giant Salad with Beans & Nut-Based Dressing (with optional whole grain side: rice, quinoa, whole wheat bread)

Afternoon Snack: Hummus with veggies or whole grains (crackers, bread), tea

Dinner: A Grain, a Green, & a Bean (started with a base of onion and garlic)

Once per day: Supplement with B12, D3, and DHA/EPA. Whole-food, plant-based diets, while very high in many micronutrients, typically don’t provide enough B12, D3, or DHA/EPA. To get just these three nutrients in a single source, I use a product called Complement, which I helped to create. You can learn more about Complement here).

Sample Recipes for Each Meal

Breakfast

A simple morning smoothie or bowl of oatmeal can knock out a number of the seven daily foods all at once. Get creative and load them up with berries, greens, nuts and flaxseed, turmeric, and even things like whole green tea leaves and beans (silken tofu is my preferred bean in a smoothie).

These three recipes demonstrate just a few of the ways you can create a simple breakfast while hitting on several of the essential daily foods.

Berry-Banana Smoothie

Serving Size: Approximately 2, 20-oz.

Smoothies Smoothies are one of the most reliable ways to get berries into your diet. And since you can use frozen berries in a smoothie, you can save a little money, even when buying organic. My favorites are strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries, so mix or rotate through those or any other berries (or even other fruits) you like to build variety into your diet and keep your smoothie from getting boring.

Ingredients

  • 2 medium, ripe bananas
  • 2 Brazil nuts (or 1-2 tablespoons raw walnuts)
  • 2 tablespoons flaxseeds
  • 2.5 cups water
  • 2.5 cups frozen berry
  • A big handful or two of baby spinach or other mild-tasting greens (optional)
  • Optional add-ins (see note below)

Instructions

  1. Place ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth.

Notes

  • Optional: Add green tea leaves, a 1/2-inch slice fresh turmeric or ginger root, or silken tofu to boost the nutrition content of the smoothie and get more of the seven daily foods.

Colorful, Hearty Oatmeal

Serving Size: 2 bowls

Ingredients

  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 2 cups of water
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup frozen berries of your choosing
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 3 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds
  • 1/4 cup crushed almonds
  • Splash of maple syrup to taste (optional)

Instructions

  1. Combine oats, water, and cinnamon in a saucepan over medium heat
  2. Heat until simmering, then cook stirring often, until water is absorbed (about five minutes)
  3. Stir in berries and flax until berries are heated through, and take off heat
  4. Pour into bowl and top with chia seeds, pumpkin seeds, almonds, and maple syrup

Salads

For lunch, I love to throw together a giant salad, loaded with greens, beans, cruciferous veggies, seeds, and grains. I’ll then top it off with an oil-free nut-based dressing for an added kick.

Below you’ll find my basic plan for building a giant salad, plus three of my favorite homemade dressings. They’re all easy, delicious, and can be made well ahead of time and used throughout the week.

How to Make a Giant Salad

I like to assemble a salad based on a few basic principles:

  1. Start with a large handful or two of mild lettuce — romaine, green leaf, etc.
  2. Add another large handful or two of a more bitter green — baby kale, arugula, mustard greens, dandelion greens, etc.
  3. Top with at least one cruciferous vegetable (cabbage, broccoli, and radishes are the easiest, in my opinion), green onions, and any other vegetables you like (carrots, celery, tomatoes, etc.)
  4. Finish with a cup of beans and nut-based dressing.
  5. Serve over brown rice or with a whole-grain side to make it a more filling, satisfying meal.
  6. Add a 1/4 inch slice of fresh turmeric and sprinkle with black pepper to increase bioavailability (you can eat your turmeric anytime throughout the day; I find it’s easiest to remember with the salad).

Garlic-Tahini Dressing

Ingredients

  • 2 cloves garlic, or more to taste
  • 1⁄2 cup tahini
  • 1⁄4 cup water, more to thin
  • 1⁄4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium tamari

Instructions

  1. Optional first step: I like to toss the whole garlic cloves (peeled, of course) around in a dry skillet over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until they just barely start to color and blister. This retains the garlic flavor but tones down the intensity a little bit.
  2. Add the garlic to a food processor blender and pulse a few times to mince. Then add the rest of the ingredients and combine until smooth. Add water until you reach a relatively thin consistency, but not so thin that it won’t stick to stick to your salad leaves. (It’ll thicken in the fridge, but you can always add more water before you use it.)

Notes

  • If the flavor is too strong, whisk in a little extra Tahini and/or water.

Sid’s ‘I Can’t Believe It’s Cashew’ Ranch Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 1⁄4 cups cashews (you can soak them for a creamier dressing)
  • 1 cup of filtered water for blending
  • 1 1⁄2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt or to taste
  • 1⁄2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1⁄4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper or to taste

Instructions

  1. Blend all ingredients (ideally in a high-speed blender) until creamy and smooth.
  2. Make sure not to blend so long that the dressing gets hot. If it’s too thick add more water. It’ll thicken in the fridge; just add more water to make it pourable again.

Notes

  • This dressing thickens in the fridge, so add a little water as needed to thin before using.

To make Buffalo Cashew Ranch: stir hot sauce (Frank’s Red Hot is highly recommended) into the finished dressing, to taste. A teaspoon of hot sauce per quarter cup of dressing is a good place to start, but this will vary depending on the brand of hot sauce you use.

Turmeric Ginger Almond Butter Dressing

Serving Size: 1 cup

Trader Joe’s makes a delicious oil-free dressing that includes turmeric, ginger, garlic, and almond butter — making it perfect for topping a giant salad with beans to knock out many of the seven foods I try to eat each day. This is my reverse-engineered version, swapping whole dates for the cane sugar that TJ’s uses in theirs.

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp minced ginger (from about a thumb-sized piece)
  • 2 fresh Medjool dates, pits removed
  • 1 small clove garlic
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Instructions

  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. The dressing will become thicker in the refrigerator, so thin with water before serving each time.

Dinner

A grain, a green, and a bean. It’s actually that simple, and if you’re creative about it, the options are endless.

A GGB dinner could be pasta, rice and bean bowls, tacos, soups or stews, and so much more. And this is the perfect way to knock out any remaining foods from the list, like:

  • Whole grains
  • Greens
  • Beans
  • Onions & Garlic
  • Mushrooms
  • Turmeric
  • Cruciferous & Other Vegetables
  • Nuts & Seeds (topping or dressing)

Here are three of my go-to dinners that check off several of these foods.

Tempeh Tacos

Serving Size: 4 (3 tacos per serving)

This recipe was inspired by one I discovered in Rip Esseltyn’s My Beef with Meat (now called Plant-Strong), after getting the chance to hang out with Rip in Austin, Texas at Whole Foods HQ. If you don’t like soy, you can substitute any other bean here. Brown or green lentils would probably work best to replicate the texture of the tempeh.

Ingredients

  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 16 ounces tempeh, crumbled
  • A few splashes of low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
  • 12 oz bottle BBQ sauce (look for oil-free — some varieties of Stubb’s and Annie’s are oil-free and delicious)
  • 1 cup red or green cabbage, shredded
  • 1 cup pineapple, chopped
  • 1/2 bunch fresh cilantro, chopped
  • Optional:
  • Jalapeño or serrano pepper, seeded and ribbed, minced, for garnish
  • Pickled onions, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Preheat a medium pan over medium-high heat.
  2. Once it’s warm, heat each corn tortilla for about a minute on one side, then flip and heat for 10 seconds or so on the other side. It’s okay for the tortillas to get light brown spots, but don’t let them burn.
  3. After each tortilla is heated, move it to a plate covered by a barely-damp kitchen towel to keep warm. (You can do this step at the end instead and make the tacos “to order,” but you’ll save time if you can do it while you prepare the tempeh.)
  4. Heat the crumbled tempeh in a pan over medium heat, stirring frequently to prevent sticking.
  5. Once the pan is warm, sprinkled the tempeh with tamari or soy sauce (to taste, less than two tablespoons) and stir occasionally until tempeh is heated through.
  6. Add the barbecue sauce to the pan and mix thoroughly until heated through.
  7. To assemble, spoon a portion of the tempeh mixture onto a heated tortilla, then add red cabbage, pineapple, cilantro, and jalapeño and pickled onions (if using). Repeat for the remaining tortillas.

Hearty Chickpea Pasta Soup

Serving Size: 6

This grain, green, and bean recipe comes from my first book, No Meat Athlete, and in addition to the big three GGB, also incorporates onions and garlic and two other super-healthy foods: tomatoes and fresh herbs. And in my opinion, it’s one of the tastiest recipes in the book!

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, optional (you can use water instead)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped, divided
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 6 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 15-ounce can (or 1 ½ cups cooked) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 bunch kale (about 8 leaves), preferably lacinato (also called dinosaur kale), torn into
  • bite-size pieces, coarse stems removed
  • 4 ounces whole wheat or alternative-grain linguine, broken into 1- to 2-inch lengths (or choose a bite-size pasta)
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Heat the oil or water in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, celery, garlic, and 1
  2. teaspoon of the rosemary and cook until the vegetables are soft and translucent, about 5
  3. minutes.
  4. Add the tomato sauce, vegetable stock, and chickpeas, and bring to a boil. Add the kale
  5. and after about 5 minutes, add the pasta and stir occasionally. (This assumes your pasta
  6. will take 7 to 8 minutes to cook. If you’re using pasta that takes 12 to 15 minutes, add the
  7. pasta when you add the kale.) When the pasta is al dente, remove the soup from the heat
  8. and season with salt and pepper.
  9. Garnish with the remaining teaspoon of fresh rosemary.

Pugliese Greens and Beans

This one is inspired by the food of Puglia, the heel of Italy’s boot where chickpeas are king. But any bean works here; I like white ones for their color against the greens. The vegan meat substitute is entirely optional but is a good example of allowing an occasional indulgence to keep food interesting. If you choose not to use it, you might experiment with a small amount of miso, stirred in at the end of the simmering time, to add umami richness and saltiness.

Ingredients

  • 2 14.5-ounce cans reduced-sodium cannellini beans or chickpeas (don’t drain and rinse, in this case)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, optional (you can use water instead)
  • 6 cloves garlic, rough-chopped
  • 4 ounces vegan meat substitute, diced small, optional (check the ingredients and avoid protein isolates)
  • 1 large bunch (about 1 pound) turnip greens, kale, or other bitter greens
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Whole grain or sourdough bread, for serving (feel free to instead serve over another grain — barley, bulgur wheat, brown rice, etc.)

Instructions

  1. In a dry skillet or one just lightly drizzled with a half teaspoon of oil (don’t use water here), brown the vegan meat substitute over medium heat for just a few minutes. Remove from pan and set aside.
  2. Heat the rest of the oil in the skillet over medium heat and add the garlic and crushed red pepper. After two minutes, add the beans and their liquid and increase the heat to medium-high. Once the liquid is simmering, add the greens and continue to simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated and the greens are tender, 5 to 10 minutes depending on the type of greens you’re using.
  3. Add the vegan meat substitute, season with salt and pepper, and serve alongside rustic bread or over another grain.

Determining Your Caloric Requirements

For anyone serious about optimizing their training and performance, it’s important to have a basic understanding of your caloric requirements. Essentially, your body requires high-quality calories from healthy whole foods for energy. The more active you are, the more calories you burn and therefore the more calories you require to recover and fuel your next activity.

There are numerous caloric requirement calculators free to use online (this one at Plant Space is easy to use). First, you calculate your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is the number of calories your body burns at rest in a 24 hour period. Think of it as how many calories you’d burn just sitting on the couch binging on Netflix for an entire day.

BMR is determined based on age, gender, height, and weight. You then figure out your activity level to get a rough estimate of the number of calories you’d burn each day. Include any exercise you do on top of that to determine the total amount of calories burned in a day. You can adjust your diet as necessary to maintain, gain or lose weight depending on your fitness goals. Try tracking your nutrition and food intake on an online platform like Cronometer for best results.

To use me as an example, for a 35-year-old male who’s 6 foot 5 inches and weighs 215 lbs, my BMR is 2,028 calories. Adding in moderate daily activity (playing with my kids, walking the dog, doing chores around the house, running errands) I require approximately 2,800 calories. Plus 1,200 to 1,500 calories burned during running and weightlifting each day, that’s roughly 4,000 to 4,300 calories required per day just to maintain weight.

Now that we have a basic understanding of how to determine caloric requirements, let’s dive into what I eat on a typical day to see how it’s possible to fuel a physically active lifestyle from plants alone.

A Typical Day of Eating and Training on a Plant-Based Diet

5 am: Hydration / Pre-Run Coffee

After waking up and brushing my teeth, the first thing I do each morning is down a large glass of water to rehydrate my thirsty body. Hydration is critical for many bodily functions, like delivering nutrients throughout the body. Instead of shuffling into the kitchen to grab a coffee as soon as you wake up, drink a tall glass of filtered water first.

Besides providing a caffeine jolt to help wake you up, coffee has a diuretic effect that will help you go to the bathroom. Any runner can attest to the critical importance of a healthy bowel movement prior to a morning run!

6 am: Cardio Workout – 45-60 Minute Run

  • Warm-up: 50 push-ups, 50 air squats, 30 pull-ups
  • Run for 45-60 minutes to burn 750-1,000 calories
  • Cooldown: 50 push-ups, 50 air squats, 30 pull-ups
attachment-Meal 1 - Post-Run Oatmeal

7 am: Meal 1: Post-Run Breakfast – Rolled Oats and Fruit Breakfast Bowl

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk
  • 1 banana
  • 1 cup blueberries
  • 1 medjool date
  • 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tbsp hemp seeds (sometimes this is flaxseed, alternate days)
  • 1 tbsp natural peanut butter
  • Optional: 1-2 drops of liquid vanilla stevia for some added sugar and calorie-free sweetness.

Total calories and macronutrient ratios: 951 calories; 127g healthy carbs (53%); 35g brain and heart healthy fats (33%); 36g protein (14%); 20g fiber

Try to eat more fat and protein-rich foods in the morning to keep you satiated and provide balanced energy. A carb-heavy breakfast will result in blood sugar spikes and ultimately an energy crash. I still include healthy carbs, such as whole grains and fruits that contain fiber, to help me recover and fuel my weightlifting workout later in the morning.

Most of what I eat in a day serves a purpose. Ask yourself: is this meal or snack intended to help me recover from a workout, build muscle, curb blood sugar spikes, fuel a workout, or all the above? The intent of this post-run breakfast is to replenish electrolytes and calories expended during my morning run.

If you have the energy, try doing your morning cardio in a fasting state. Doing cardio while fasting aids in healthy weight loss boosts metabolism, strengthens the immune system, promotes longevity through cellular autophagy, and increases testosterone levels in males.

8:30 am: Morning Snack – Sliced apple, kiwi, almonds

  • Apple: 1 whole, sliced
  • Kiwi: 2 whole, sliced
  • Almonds: 23 whole

Total calories and macronutrient ratios: 364 calories; 57g healthy carbs (57%); 15g brain and heart-healthy fats (35%); 8g protein (8%); 13g fiber

9 am: Pre-workout drink

  • 2 cups water
  • Kaizen pre-workout to boost energy and enhance focus during the workout.
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons of beetroot crystals to enhance blood flow during workouts.

9:30 am: Resistance Workout – Hypertrophy Weightlifting – 75-90 Minutes

  • Warm-up: Dynamic stretching with resistance bands – 5 minutes or light cardio on elliptical/stationary bike – 5 minutes
  • Typical weightlifting session for 60-75 minutes to burn 350-450 calories
  • Cooldown: Light static stretching, one-minute hangs
attachment-Meal 2 - Post-Workout Smoothie Bowl

11am: Meal 2: Post-Workout – Protein Smoothie Bowl

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup frozen mango
  • 1 cup frozen kale
    (This doesn’t have to be frozen, it’s just my personal preference. Use any green leafy vegetable you like. Spinach, cilantro, and parsley are other great options.)
  • 1/2 cup frozen green peas
  • 1/2 cup frozen cauliflower (or cauliflower rice)
  • 1 banana
  • 1 Medjool date
  • 2 tbsp flax seeds
  • 1/2” chunk turmeric (or 1/2 tsp of ground turmeric)
  • Dash of ground black pepper
  • 1 scoop of plant protein powder
    (I’m currently using Iron Vegan Athlete’s Blend as it’s vegan and heavy metal tested. Be sure to cycle your protein powders every 6 to 8 weeks for variety in amino acid profiles.)
  • Creatine: 5g
  • Toppings: 1 cup mixed berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries), 1/4 cup organic dark raisins, 2 tbsp walnuts

Total calories and macronutrient ratios: 934 calories; 124g healthy carbs (50%); 30g brain and heart healthy fats (28%); 50g protein (22%); 31g fiber

I look forward to this smoothie bowl every single day. It’s become such a staple in my diet that I bring a mini-blender wherever I travel to ensure I can still make a protein smoothie bowl after workouts.

This meal is loaded with healthy carbs to help refuel and replenish glucose lost during exercise. It contains 30 grams of brain and heart-healthy fats, 31 grams of fiber, and a staggering 50 grams of plant protein.

The purpose of this meal is to quickly deliver nutrients to the muscle cells that are now starved for glucose (carbohydrates) after a workout. Make sure you’re getting at least 25 to 30 grams of clean plant protein in this meal. Specifically, 2 to 3 grams of the branched-chain amino acid leucine optimizes muscle protein synthesis.

You should still aim to get the majority of your protein from whole foods. Protein powder will help you get a little extra to meet your body’s demands without having to eat a ton of extra food.

Creatine is a widely recommended supplement for athletes. It’s tasteless, mixes well in a smoothie or glass of water, and 3 to 5 grams a day is all that’s required. Creatine is one of the most well-researched supplements. It hasn’t been shown to have negative health outcomes or side effects. It aids in muscle growth, recovery, and building strength.

Pro Tip: Combine the compounds curcumin and piperine. Both are highly anti-inflammatory and have potent antioxidative properties. Curcumin is found in turmeric and piperine in black pepper.

It was revolutionary for my training when I began adding turmeric and black pepper to my daily post-workout smoothie. All you need is a 1/4″ chunk of turmeric root (or 1/4 tsp of powder) with a dash of black pepper. The result? No inflammation, no soreness, and the ability to work out with intensity the next day.

attachment-Meal 3 - Lunch - Avocado Miso Tempeh Sandwich with Side Salad

1PM: Lunch – Avocado, Miso and Tempeh Sandwich with a side salad

Total calories and macronutrient ratios: 797 calories; 97g healthy carbs (49%); 27g brain and heart-healthy fats (30%); 42g protein (21%); 31g fiber

3PM: Afternoon Snack – Sweet potato and asparagus

  • Sweet potato: 100g whole, baked or boiled for ~20 minutes until soft
  • Asparagus: 6 spears, baked 15 mins.
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Total calories and macronutrient ratios: 111 calories; 25g healthy carbs (90%); 0g brain and heart-healthy fats (0%); 4g protein (10%); 5g fiber

attachment-Meal 4 - Dinner - Crispy Tofu Caesar Salad

5PM: Meal 4 – Dinner – Crispy Tofu Caesar Salad

Total calories and macronutrient ratios: 856 calories; 95g healthy carbs (41%); 36g brain and heart healthy fats (36%); 55g protein (23%); 24g fiber

Total daily calories and macronutrient ratios: 4000 calories, 543g carbs (52%), 132g fats (28%), 196g protein (20%), 120g fiber

Who said you can’t get enough protein on a vegan diet?

Being a Vegan Athlete is Easier Than You Think

I hope this article shows how it’s possible – and enjoyable – to fuel your athletic pursuits with a 100 percent WFPB diet. These meals and snacks are highly nutritious, simple to make, and easy on the wallet.

All it takes is some time in the kitchen, tracking your nutrition, and consistency. Consistency compounds over time. Soon, you’ll be able to eat intuitively and you’ll know what your body needs to fuel, repair, and recover for that next workout.

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